Difference in circular needle cording?



I was wondering at the differences between circular needle cordings. I have knit extensively (and, often, annoyingly) with the basic plastic corded needles that are not that flexible or knitter friendly. I am looking now, however, at purchasing some from online and am wondering what the difference in cording is. One advertises as “hollow” and others are advertised as metal cording. I have never knit with metal corded needles before, and am interested to know if anyone has, and what they think of it? I am also curious as to the difference between hollow and not hollow corded needles?

I know that personal preference is an absolute factor in choosing the best needles, but I am not at all familiar with these two terms and am just looking for a bit of clarification.

Thanks for any info offered!



Thats called a cable. :wink: Smart move to get a flexible set from the beginning rather than spend money on a cheap set that frustrates you. :thumbsup: I don’t know the difference in cables other than flexibility.

I use Knitpicks Options nickel plated or Harmony birch. I don’t know what the cable is made from, but it’s very flexible. They have a Try-it set that is a good way to test them out. You can also just buy a needle and cable singly if the type doesn’t have a set to try. It’s cheaper in the long run. I have a few Hiya Hiya and Addi and use them, too.

Hiya Hiya and Addi needles are also good and I’m sure there are others.


I too use KP Options (Sunstruck for me) and am very happy with the cables. Other than color I think the WEBs cables are the same. IMHO Boye and Denise cables are not for me, they’re both too thick, not flexible enough, and Boye cables coil. I figure if it looks like it belongs in a Weed Eater, it should be used in a Weed Eater. I have a CiaoGoo with a stainless steel cable coated with something and it’s OK but not as flexible as the KP cables. The cable on my one Addi Turbo circ kinks. I’ve wondered about hollow cables too. My guess (and it’s only a guess) is that they are thicker and less flexible than my KP cables. I’ll be interested in finding out what they are like but I’m not sure I’ll buy more needles to compare, I’ll probably stick with what I know.


The ‘hollow’ cords are plastic tubing and they may or may not be soft and flexible, but will be thick which can be a problem moving your stitches on them. The metal may be flexible don’t know. It may be worth it to just get a couple of each type to see how you like them. Or one of the sample sets from Knitpicks or WEBS (www.yarn.com) Knit pro needles.


I actually ended up with the sampler sets from WEBs and KP and that came in really handy. I got the same size needles in nickel plate and in wood (birch?) and it let me really compare them.


It took me a while to decide if I like sharp or blunt tip needles, but I think I’m more of a blunt tip knitter. Once you know what tip style you like best, you can search within a range of brands for ones that have the cords you like.
That said, I like KA brand needles the best of any I’ve ever tried. They are a Japanese brand that are less expensive than Clover but [B]so[/B] much nicer. They are bamboo and the tip on these is less blunt than Clover (I think), but not by much. They also have a really thin and very flexible cord that spins where its connected to the needle. This is a really great feature and I miss it when I knit with something else. They come in several interchangeable sets that have more options than any of the others I researched in my price range. The sets are also expandable. I really can’t recommend them enough. Price-wise, they are more than Knitpicks but cheaper than Clover or Addi.
I just got my set this weekend and it’s like I’m in love. I can’t stop looking at them! :inlove:

I wanted to mention one other brand that has a great cable and is inexpensive. I think it falls more in the sharp tip category, but maybe its a hybrid because the tip is concave, which helps you catch slipping stitches. Pearls brand is a soft plastic needle with a super soft cord. They used to be called Bryspun and you’ll still see them for sale under both names. They are really inexpensive and you can’t get them in kits, but if you like a sharper tip and soft cable, they are worth a look. There is one big problem with them though, they will form little cracks at the base of the needle where the cord connects. This will endlessly snag yarn unless you file it down. I was able to use a nail file on mine, but I understand not everyone will be cool with that. This only happened to me when they where called Bryspun, but it was very consistent.


I prefer sharp needles by far. Hence one of my loves with KP.


My personal preferences are Hiya Hiya stainless and Knitters Pride Dreamz, both of which use plastic cables of some description (though I couldn’t tell you what the construction is). Hiya Hiya’s interchangeable sets come with plastic shrouded braided steel cables, which I haven’t used but wouldn’t imagine would be terribly friendly. They wouldn’t have any “memory” to speak of, but I should imagine they’d be stiffer than I’d like. The Dreamz interchangeables use the same cables as the single-length models. My girlfriend has both sets of those and LOVES them. From what I can see, the Knitters Pride sets are pretty much the same as the Knitpicks, except maybe in the type of wood used for the tips.

No doubt there have been or will be lovers of Addi chiming in here, and they make a good one too, I’ve just never [I]personally[/I] been impressed enough to pay the premium for them over the others.


I have used knitting needles with metal cables and I’ll never buy another. These did not have any thing over the metal. The brand is ChiaoGoo premium stainless steel. I’m thankful I didn’t pay full price!